Author Topic: Seeking Lodger/Renter Tips for screening Owners  (Read 992 times)

Mesmoiselle

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Seeking Lodger/Renter Tips for screening Owners
« on: August 14, 2016, 01:23:30 AM »
I'm a traveling medical professional and the way the contracts work, it's in my best interest to reduce the housing cost and pocket the difference after taxes.

My last two assignment locations did not have reasonable extended living hotels, so I turned to Craig's list for short term month to month leases.

I don't know if it's that the owners are also your roommate or just the nature of people who are willing to do short term month to month, but both of the experiences have been stressful.

 The first lady made me feel like I had to pretend I wasn't there. My cooking was too smelly (Indian food) I needed to keep my items off my non shared bathroom counter so it didn't look "cluttered", I needed to vacuum often... It went beyond that a bit further, at this point the memories are fuzzy, but the jist is that I dreaded going "home" to the woman and ended up paying for two lodgings for peace of mind my last 5 weeks, nearly canceling out the savings of going that route entirely.

I chalk it up to poor communication during the screening process. I get very explicit my next Craig's list ad, about how often I'm willing to clean and what my expectations are. It seemed the next lady was very reasonable, seemed we were on the same page... no. Not as bad as the first lady, I didn't have to abandon ship, but I wasn't happy to be there. The ambiguous"please clean when asked" turned into an annoying weekly and unneeded reminder to vacuum her living room, hallways, and wash her kitchen floors. Accusations of messes I didn't make needing to be cleaned up (which I did clean the messes, after firmly declaring they weren't mine, but I'd clean them anyway.) She had another tenant, but he'd already lived there over a year, and two cats... I can't be the only possibility for mess maker...   Kitchen/bathroom washed yesterday, so that today could just be about packing and moving....that she declares isn't good enough. (this spot, here, this spot is your spot so you obviously didn't clean the floor) Then today when she fully knows I'm moving out( I informed her two days prior that I would leave the 13th instead of 15th), she takes off when it's obvious that I'm moving furniture out of the room and cleaning for move out.

She's gone for two+ hours. I'm doing a cross country move back to Kentucky from California, of course I'd be heading out as early as possible? Anyway. I'm packed, I've cleaned, and she's still not there. So, I take pictures of the space I used and head out, leaving keys in obvious spot. She sends me snippy email about how pictures don't count as a move out inspection. I didn't bother replying; the images were purely to time date an exchange where it was obvious there were not giant holes in the walls. I don't expect my deposit back.

I'd like to keep pocketing my housing difference, but these two experiences have really sucked. I never had problems as an apartment tenant before I bought my house. I've even had some roommates before that weren't family although it was more casual than professional= not the same parameters for comparison, but the roomies didn't hate me.

So, how should I be doing this better and what things should I look out for?

mskyle

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Re: Seeking Lodger/Renter Tips for screening Owners
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2016, 11:24:52 AM »
What about trying AirBnB? You might pay a bit of a premium compared to folks you find on craigslist, but you will also get to see some reviews.

I think there are a few things you can do: ask questions about pet peeves and things they're very particular about, or problems they've had with tenants in the past. Then read between the lines with the answers. If the previous lodgers were all grodo trash people, according to the landlord/roommate... well, that tells you at least as much about the landlord as it does about the previous lodgers.

Also be clear and honest about what you want and what problems you've had in the past: I'm guessing you want a situation where you can comfortably hang out at home a lot of the time, since you're moving a lot and don't necessarily have a friend group to hang out with in the evening. You want to cook Indian food regularly. You don't want to live with picky people.

Maybe also look for someone who uses part of the rent you pay to pay for a housecleaner, or a place where you get your own bathroom, or a young-person-group-house kind of situation rather than lodgings with landladies.

I sympathize with both sides... long ago I had a roommate who was such of a clean freak and made me so uncomfortable that I ended up taking a second job because I figured if I was going to spend all my time outside of the apartment I might as well get paid for it.

Then a few years ago I had a short-term roommate/subletter who bugged the heck out of me by leaving dishes in the sink (before she moved in, I made it 100% clear that dishes in the sink are my #1 cleaning pet peeve), using my good kitchen knives for weird craft projects, and sleeping on the bare mattress (provided by me) with no sheets (we had laundry in the basement and I offered her extra sheets! WTF!).

electriceagle

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Re: Seeking Lodger/Renter Tips for screening Owners
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2016, 08:15:21 AM »
> young-person-group-house kind of situation rather than lodgings with landladies.

Bingo. Room with a bunch of dudes from the local university. They won't care what you do, but you'll have to step over the occasional beer bong.

Really, it sounds like the first lady didn't want a roommate and the second lady wanted you to be part of (and take responsibility for) the household. Make sure that you communicate that you're looking for a crash pad.

Try posting a "want" ad on craigslist instead of just responding to offers. Someone may have a room that is too small to be used as a full time home but sufficient for an occasional crash pad.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2016, 08:18:05 AM by electriceagle »